With 12,000 jobs set to be cut from Google, the company’s CEO Sundar Pichai told the remaining staff that things could have been grim if action hadn’t been taken. So how bad would things have been without these layoffs? It’s unclear from the Bloomberg article we scoped out.
Pichai stated that the decision to nix 6% of Google’s workforce needed to be done to advertise what sounds like a pending disaster, “If you don’t act clearly and decisively and early, we can compound the problem and make it much worse. These are decisions I needed to make.”
Staffers were unsure that cuts were coming, as it sounded like top management was not forthcoming. But, according to Bloomberg, an unspecified number of employees discovered they were among the jobless when their access to particular internal Google systems was revoked. This, sadly, is typical of many companies. Before laying off an employee, they’ll lose access to e-mail, usually over a lunch break or when called into a meeting.
The company’s CPO (chief people officer or “hiring director,” if you’re not being pompous), Fiona Cicconi, explained that due to the company’s size, the decisions about who would be cut and how much of the employee base would be affected had to be kept close to the chest, “In an ideal world, we would have given managers a heads up, but we have over 30,000 managers at Google. We wanted to give certainty sooner.”
The tech industry has seen relatively large layoffs in the past few months. For example, Microsoft plans on eliminating 10k positions throughout the 2023 fiscal year. Late last year, we saw Amazon contemplating a similar number of terminations, and Meta topped that number by axing 11k employees.
The problems are from several different issues. Overhiring during the pandemic, a change in consumer habits, and the overall cost of investing in new technology are all contributing factors. Microsoft and Google will probably come out of this in a better position, but it’s unclear if Meta can keep the ship afloat.